MilkDrive & Porcelain City 11.6.14

Avogadro’s Number

Fort Collins, CO
Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

I first saw MilkDrive at WinterWonderGrass last year. Over the course of the weekend they played several sets taking ownership of one of the tents in a memorable way. Hailing from Austin, Texas the four-piece group consists of Brian Beken on fiddle, Dennis Ludiker on mandolin, Noah Jefferies on guitar and Jesse Dalton on double bass. However, due to the impeding birth of his daughter, Noah Jeffries flew back home, leaving MilkDrive as a three piece. Again, my search for good music took me to Avogadro’s Number. They have had a number a great shows recently and their Dead Jam continues to draw a large audience. On this night it was mostly a sit down crowd, but an empty seat was hard to find. The evening began with the newly formed Porcelain City. Originally known as the Snake Oil Trio, they have undergone some lineup changes and added a few members making them a trio no longer. Their first set started as a four piece with Nick Bonnet on guitar, Logan Lightfoot on bass, Andy Benson on drums and Danica Cunningham on fiddle. Danica joined the band just two days prior. Megan Rice would unite with them for their closing set to end the show.

Set One: Precious Time, Don’t You Dare Leave Me, No Good Fucker, What I Got, Here I Am, Eastward Bound, At Day’s End, Jam Song

Porcelain City was a blend of hip-hop and sincerity delivered in a jamgrass format. The addition of the drummer gives this band a new foundation on which to build their songs. They did an incredible rendition of Sublime’s “What I Got” mid set. They sounded great and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for Porcelain City.

As stated above MilkDrive sans Noah took the stage around 10 PM. They opened with “Sciota.”

Set One: Sciota, Last Night I Dreamed, Random Access, Dear Prudence, Water Ground, Gulf Road, Leaving, Lady Be Good, Soho, Waves

Set Two: Angeline The Baker, Garfields, Meat Glaze, Squirrel Hunter, Good News Blues, East Virginia, Dry Creek Inn

Milk Drive blends bluegrass with elements of jazz, blues, and more. Their first set they stuck to the three core members before inviting some friends up for set two. Their version of Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” was downright spiritual. There is a striking blend of talent and polish with these pickers. Jesse took the vocals on “Water Ground.” Their attention to detail was apparent with each song. They closed the first set with a beautiful “Waves."

After a short break they returned opening back up with “Angeline The Baker.” They invited Geoff Union up to the stage to play guitar. Geoff is a member of Denver based band, Ragged Union. During the show it came out that Geoff had introduced Jesse the bassist to MilkDrive, which obviously led to him joining the group. Geoff also sang “Meat Glaze,” a tune he wrote based on an experience at a ‘vegan lesbian pot farm community.’ They would eventually invite Christina Union also from Ragged Union up to sing a song. MilkDrive went into Billy Joe Shaver’s “Good News Blues.” After they finished up Porcelain City returned for a short set to close out the night. It being a school night I headed home. Both bands were impressive. It’s never optimal to see a band missing a member and at this show I saw two. I can’t blame Noah for going home to be a daddy. MilkDrive made the most of the set by playing stripped down versions of their original songs and inviting up the Unions to fill out their sound. It was an ideal night in Fort Collins.

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